Personality is a significant player in the
identification of an individual’s character. Adorno et al. (1950) and Allum
(2011) both investigated the different personality types through two different
methods of scientific research. This essay will explain the types of methods
used by both Adorno et al (1950) and Allum (2011). The essay will explain the
similarities and also explain in their
work and how the results varied with their different methods of scientific
Adorno et al (1950) investigation into
personality was soon widely known as ‘authoritarian personality’. He began his
research when the many acts of inhumanity plagued Europe in WW2. Many of these
hideous acts were committed under leadership. Particularly of the Nazi movement
in WW2. (Investigating Psychology, pp 23)
He believed that the obedience obtained by the individuals committing these
crimes were in the total submission of
one’s self. They had given up control of their own mind to another individual.
For Adorno et al (1950) to try and gain an understanding of how a person can commit such hideous acts against
another human being he invented a questionnaire which he called ‘The F~scale.’. He concluded a series of questions to which
you had to answer 1 to 10. Strongly disagree to strongly agree. This method was
called scale. Depending on the score a person got from their answer he could
conclude whether a person was leaning more towards a submissive, racist side. A
person more likely to commit these crimes rather than someone who had scored a
low score who was seen to be less likely to hurt someone under the instructions
of an authority figure.
Allum (2011) research into personality was
rather different. Allum believed that ‘scientific compensations and literacy
are essential in the making of rational and informed judgements in life’. He
believed that people who have little understanding of astrology and how it
differs to science are more vulnerable. People whom read their horoscope or go
to psychics will mistake astrology for science and make decisions based on
this. These are decisions they wouldn’t normally make without this influence.
For example, they could read in a horoscope that they will have a big cash win.
Therefore, they would go and gamble in some way, that they wouldn’t normally
do. To try and gain some understanding, Allum (2011) would use data collected
via sampling. This method of investigation Is like Adorno. However, with sampling,
you select a certain amount of preexisting data from already conducted surveys.
These preexisting results are taken from surveys conducted by a clear majority
of people and the sample selected will contain your results.
believed that there were links between an individual’s brain and their
personality. For example, Allum (2011) attains his results
through a theory like the F~scale. Allum used a subset of questions from a
larger ‘Eurobarometer’ questionnaire to ?nd out about people’s understanding of
science and why some consider astrology to be scienti?c. (Investigation
Methods, pg. 45) Nevertheless, this survey was only conducted on a large scale.
Like Adorno F~scale, race religion and
ethnic background were not taken into consideration.
The results for this would be unreliable. Even though Allum (2011) said his
research was successful he could never conclusively say he had ‘proved’ any of
his theories about people confusing the sciences with astrology. This, On the other hand, Adorno, thought actions
could be explained by mimicking the actions of a person in authority. He
believed that children would be more susceptive to this sort of behaviour. Particularly during the war period.
Adorno et al (1950) ‘argued that the feelings of anger and hostility, although
hidden away in the unconscious, continued to have in?uence.’ (Investigating
Psychology pg. 35) If a child was brought up with, for example, either overly
strict parents or abusive parents they might find a need to overly impress
people with a figure of authority. The hidden rage would then increase the
chances of them becoming overly submissive to authority figures and commit the
hideous crimes committed during the war. The F~scale and the answers they gave
were to help see If this was true.
Similar, most of the results from their studies
came from questionnaire type research. They needed to understand what a person
was capable of thinking. Similar types of research can, however, conclude
different results. Questionnaires and surveys tend to have limited options
regarding the different types of questions you can ask. It also poses a problem
as the person doing the research can ask questions that will lead to their
desired result. Adorno and Allum would have used questionnaires to get fast
results. Not necessarily always being the most accurate or fair. It concluded
to be an easy way to get results from large numbers of people as doing one on
one interviews would have been impractical and a lot more expensive
The research studies that were being conducted
by Adorno and Allum often had different conclusions
despite the application being a relatively similar means of data collection.
Nevertheless, there were focus groups that were being applied by these
researchers. It is further stated that
both researchers used quantitative data, where the participants’ responses were converted into a numerical status. The numerical status
of these pieces of data was then used in
providing a difference in the case study findings. They use quantic data
collect because getting results from every single person in the world is merely impossible. They devised their results
into numeric form to show as near to an accurate result as possible. In both
research problems conducted by these psychologists, the findings were calculated, and they concluded depending
on the results.
In conclusion to this, however different or
similar a method of research into Personality maybe, they have both gathered
results to their desired effect. Similarly,
both psychologists used questionnaires and surveys as a way of gathering
information. However, with their
different hypothesis of how a person
personality can evolve, they managed to
gather results with different methods of research. Thus being so they still managed to conduct their scientific research
successfully and produce their findings accordantly however different the
results may have been.